I am 'birthdayzilla,' hear me roar



I have a new-found empathy for bridezillas.

You spend all this money, time and effort into planning the perfect party. You coordinate it like a production, buy a new dress, and even put on fake eyelashes ... and then something goes wrong and your expectations became disappointments. You can’t help but get pissed — and being the center of attention makes it hard to disguise the fact that you are.

Well, my 30th birthday party was like my wedding … and got to be so big it felt like it was, with the pressure of turning 30 bearing down on me like cold feet. I had 90 people joining me to the Bobcats game, and then we took a party bus from the arena to Butter, where I spent a week trying to coordinate everything from decorations and deliveries of party rentals.

My phone blew up the entire dinner from all the people from the game calling and texting asking me where Front Court is — or that they’re running late and to leave their tickets at Will Call versus meet up with me before.

I spent my entire night making sure everyone else was having fun — and then realized, I wasn’t.


When I got to Butter and discovered the balloons I had planned for and paid for weren’t there, I turned into a birthday-zilla. Call me crazy (which you have every right to), but the balloons were of huge sentimental value to me.

You see, I actually grew up in a balloon shop — literally, as I was the daughter of the town’s balloon man and he had a shop out of our house. That probably explains a lot as I definitely inhaled a lot of helium from the tank in my living room. I went out and bought a pack of balloons and a pump, which I was told would be blown up and put out around the dance floor. Like a little kid on the way to Disney World. I was so excited to dance in balloons like a ball castle — the one thing that really reminds me of my childhood, hence the big kids bash.

But what’s wrong with me? Rather than be grateful for all the '80s candy they laid out on the table, or the clown passing out sno-cones, or all the toys people brought to donate to the Levine Children’s Hospital, I could only think about what I didn’t have. Why are we so inclined to focus on what we’re missing versus what we have? Our reality is good enough, there’s no need to imagine a "what if" or the "coulda, woulda, shouldas." Just like when you get 20 compliments and one insult, the insult tends to speak the loudest in your mind.

I enlisted in more spirits to brighten up my spirits. This, I should have learned by now, is not a good idea. Because instead of just enjoying my night sans the balloons, I went into a negative state of intoxication and acted like a spoiled brat whining about what I didn’t have. My friend Shana said that I went from being the happiest person to a salty cracker in two seconds flat, and all I wanted to talk about was the fact there weren’t balloons … yet, I was the only one who seemed to care. When they brought out sparklers for me, I was too busy complaining to the poor staff to even notice.

I was, legitimately, a birthdayzilla. Roar.

Apparently the best way to piss me off is to take my balloons away. But we all know it’s not really about those stupid balloons that made me resort back to a child crying because her toy got taken away … I’m crying because I’m not a kid anymore. I’m 30 … I’ve had the soul of a 30-year-old since I was 13, but there’s been so much pressure for me to grow into it, my 30th was even deemed newsworthy and cause to retire. (The Charlotte Observer just ran this article: “Party Girl at Thirty” and I retired Brittney After Dark.) Thirty has been nothing but a reminder of how many responsibilities I have and how many things I don’t have to accommodate them — and how many things I haven’t accomplished by the "dirty 30" deadline. And well, it makes me plum sad. I miss the days when my only worries were really if I had balloons or not. And while I was whining about the balloons, it was merely a cover-up to whine about the lack of assets and contracts and boyfriends that I’m too ashamed to say out loud.

But with every mistake comes a lesson — and I learned that I will never, ever have a big wedding where there is planning involved. My 30th birthday party was enough for me. I hope that whomever I marry is OK with that.

So here’s a public apology to anyone that night who caught wind of my negative energy. Thanks to everyone for coming out and bringing toys to this big kid who was acting like a big kid.

But hey, it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

And to whoever took my camera: it would be common courtesy to at least upload the pictures from my party and tag me on Facebook.

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